Jesus Supercedes Moses
The Hebrew-background believers, to whom this letter was written, revered Moses as the 'giver of the Law'. However important his role in their national history, and it was great, Moses merely paved the way for Jesus, like a palace courtier preparing people to meet the king. And so, these verses compare and contrast the characters and ministries of Moses and Jesus.
Despite Moses' acts of anger and disobedience, which prevented him entering the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 32:48-52), he was declared faithful as the leader of God's people (Numbers 12:7). But Jesus has been totally faithful to God. Moses was greatly honoured, although more after his life than during it. He constructed the tabernacle; but Jesus is God's temple (John 2:21) and He is incorporating all who trust in Him (1 Corinthians 3:16).
Moses was a faithful servant, but Jesus is the Son and rightful heir. Moses established models of what God's kingdom would be like, but Jesus is the King. John 1:17 says, "For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." All Moses could do was to tell the people what offended God. Jesus came to accept the punishment for all our offences against God (Isaiah 53:5-6). Only Jesus can build a household for God of purified sinners – the people who trust in His sacrifice and rejoice as they confidently look forward to their glorious future.
For most of us who are Gentiles, the force of these words may not seem as shocking as to those with a Hebrew background. It was like saying that Moses was for yesterday, temporary, a craftsman of models; but Jesus is for ever and is the 'real thing'. Nevertheless, we are easily tempted to honour the great prophets and apostles of the Bible more than Jesus; to venerate the people who were with Him and are now dead, instead of Jesus Himself who is alive. Or we can divide into camps supporting one or another of the great preachers of history or church leaders of our time. The truth is that they can never be substitutes for the direct relationship God has commanded us to have with Him through His Son Jesus (Matthew 17:5). Drift from that relationship by substituting another and your ship will be wrecked (Hebrews 2:1-3).
© Dr Paul Adams